Out Now – 26th November 2010

So many films out today that this post is late. It has nothing to do with red wine and a lie in.

The American
At the Mild Concern London Film Festival Awards 2010 it won most forgettable film. We reviewed it here. What more do you want!? All right, it’s about a former assassin who is in hiding and making a gun to order. Also there’s a prostitute.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
I know so little about this series but they keep coming. I’ll probably be lame and just see the American version when it comes out. Stuff happens that is dark and violent… I think.

London Boulevard
I keep meaning to watch the trailer for this but somehow I can bring myself to care enough to do so. Farrell and Knightley star in a film about gangsters and a movie star.

Hey that hilarious trailer is now a film and in the cinemas! Nudity, guns and funnies! It’s like a Mexican Black Dynamite… is that racist?

An Ordinary Execution
The Guardian’s film of the week, “A pungently atmospheric chamber piece about the nature and history of Russian political power.” Crikey.

Leap Year (limited release)
Not the horrible Amy Adams comedy but a drama about someone that wants to commit suicide. I hope someone gets confused at HMV and has the most depressing girly night in ever.

The Scar Crow (limited release)
“The 3 Tanner sisters live in fear after their mother is hanged for witchcraft, in her absence their father takes advantage of his daughters leaving the family somewhere between life and death cursed for an eternity.” Take the kids!

Waiting for Superman (limited release)
Oscar nomination short-listed documentary following four youngsters in the American school system. I bet it doesn’t come out well.

Brighton Rock – Review

The Surprise Film is consistently the hottest ticket at the London Film Festival, previous years having included The Wrestler and No Country For Old Men, and after last year’s disappointment with Capitalism: A Love Story a real treat was expected last Sunday.

Somehow the internet decided that the surprise film was most likely Brighton Rock, but this was by no means guaranteed… until the opening credits rolled. What followed did not match the Coen Brothers, Aronofsky or even Michael Moore.

Brighton Rock is everything I was so pleased Submarine was not; a gritty, gangster filled period film with Helen Mirren. In theory the film followed the descent of young rogue Pinkie into organised crime and disaster, when in reality his arc ended after about twenty minutes and then failed to progress for the final hour and a half.

To say that Brighton Rock is terrible would be an exaggeration, it would make a fine addition to any ITV drama line-up. Sadly the film is simply unimpressive and a far cry from the quality you expect to be shown in what is one of the Festival’s top four events. Rather than creating huge hype, the screening felt like a trick, making people buy tickets for a film they would never have shelled out for had they known what they were getting themselves into.

After a rough start Brighton Rock does get better, though never quite finds a way of connecting with its audience and struggles to develop any character beyond their two dimensions. Considering Rowan Joffe, the writer/director, also penned The American he is responsible for more than his fair share of flops for one film festival.

Brighton Rock does not have a UK release yet, and after the backlash it has received this week it could be a good thing.

The American – Review

It’s not hard to see why people might be impressed by The American, it is a slow burner with plenty of tension, nice cinematography, the odd laugh and occasional outbursts of violence that feel particularly real and brutal.

After writing that sentence I feel I should have enjoyed the film more but my honest reaction is that it was a little dull. In order to build the tension a lot of time passes with very little happening, George Clooney builds a gun and has sex with a prostitute a few times, not to mention his trips down to the river. I didn’t really worry about Clooney’s character as he wasn’t particularly likable and I certainly wasn’t concerned with his budding romance considering the way his last had ended at the beginning of the film.

Anton Corbijn has done a lovely job directing what must have been a threadbare script, but the film lacked the vital bit of humanity needed for me to get any real enjoyment out of it. Everyone on twitter seemed to love it though so maybe you will too.

The American is on general release on 26th November 2010.